National Legal News

Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[07/17] Swigart v. Bruno
Affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the defendant in a case involving a person struck by a horse during an endurance horse riding event on account of the doctrine of primary assumption of risk, and because Swigart failed to establish a genuine issue of material fact as to recklessness and the horse's propensity for danger.

[07/13] Mountain Valley Prop. Inc. v. Applied Risk Serv. Inc.
Affirming the denial of a motion to vacate an arbitrator's decision because the arbitrator did not manifestly disregard the law and did not exceed their powers.

[07/12] Mejias-Aguayo v. Doreste-Rodriguez
Affirming the denial of a motion for new rial following a jury verdict in favor of the defendants in a case involving a car accident where the plaintiff complained about the defense attorney's characterization of the incident as an accident and the judge's paraphrasing of portions of the law in their jury instructions, finding that neither incident was misleading or prejudicial.

[07/10] Riggs v. Curran
Affirming the dismissal of plaintiff's claims challenging the development of an offshore wind farm because the personal injury tort claim was filed after the state's three year statute of limitations, determining that the statute of limitations began to run at the time of publication of the Public Utilities Commission's plan, not when permits were issued, energy rates rose, or the plaintiffs exhausted their administrative remedies.

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Labor & Employment Law

[07/14] Lehman v. Nelson
Affirming and reversing in part a case involving amendments to a pension plan that resulted in an additional $1 per hour charged to employees in certain jurisdictions that were challenged as they applied to a 'traveler' who worked in multiple jurisdictions because the defendant company had no notice or opportunity to respond to allegations regarding withholding under one of the Amendments.

[07/14] Atron Castleberry v. STI Group
Reversing and remanding a case involving contract workers fired by a staffing placement agency who alleged racial discrimination and cited various examples including remarks made at the workplace and unfair work treatment, clarifying that the standard for determining harassment is 'severe or pervasive' rather than the 'severe and pervasive' standard applied by the lower court.

[07/14] Fratello v. Archdiocese of New York
Affirming the district court's dismissal of employment discrimination claims filed by a former principal of a Roman Catholic school because, despite the secular appearance of her position, she held herself out as a spiritual leader and performed many religious functions, qualifying her employment for the 'ministerial exception.'

[07/13] Connors v. US
Affirming that the Aviation and Transport Security Act grants the TSA administrator unreviewable discretion in the termination and employment of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees and that district courts lack subject matter jurisdiction to review termination provisions under the Administrative Procedure Act.

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Workers' Comp

[06/20] Zhu v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.
In a case involving an in-home caretaker injured while traveling between worksites, the court annulled an earlier appeal dismissing the action and remanded for a new decision, where the facts of the case qualified for the required vehicle exception to the going and coming rule.

[05/22] Southern Ins. Co. v. WCAB
In an action involving a workers' compensation insurance policy that was issued based on the express representation that the covered employer's employees did not travel out of state, and after an employee was injured out of state, the insurer notified the employer that it was rescinding the policy because of the employer's misrepresentation and returned the premium, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision affirming an arbitrator's decision that, as a matter of law, the insurer could not rescind the policy and that the policy was in effect, is annulled where: 1) contrary to the arbitrator's ruling, a workers' compensation insurance policy may be rescinded; and 2) the arbitrator and the appeals board did not address and determine whether rescission was a meritorious defense to the employee's claim.

[04/26] City of Jackson v. WCAB
In a workers' compensation case, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision disregarding the apportionment determination of the qualified medical evaluator (QME) on the ground the determination was not substantial medical evidence and directing the workers' compensation administrative law judge (ALJ) to make an award of unapportioned disability, is annulled where: 1) apportionment may be properly based on genetics/hereditability; 2) the QME properly apportioned disability; and 3) the QME's opinion Is based on substantial medical evidence.

[03/29] Marin Community Services v. WCAB
In a writ proceeding seeking to set aside the decision of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) holding that firefighter-petitioner was entitled to the benefit of the rebuttable presumption under Labor Code section 3212.1 that his cancer arose out of his employment, the WCAB's decision is affirmed where: 1) the WCAB's determination that petitioner was an employee of Marinwood was based on a reasonable interpretation of the relevant statutes; and 2) the WCAB's determination that the extension of the cancer presumption ran from the date petitioner last worked as a firefighter for any agency was based on a reasonable interpretation of the relevant statute.

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